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Full text of "Supreme Court of Iowa. Collins v. Hills et al."

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AN ORIGINAL PACKAGE. 483 

Case, supra, page 445. If within a State, but forming a means 
of interstate commerce, Congress must act to restrain the 
State: supra, pages 445-8, and the cases there cited. If between 
two or more States, then the failure or refusal of Congress to 
act, will restrain the State from acting only when the waterway 
requires general regulation : supra, pages 466, 448. 

The power of restraint which was established in the Wheel- 
ing Bridge Case, was recognized by Justice Swayne, in Con- 
way v. Taylor's Ex. (1862), 1 Black. (66 U. S.) 603, 634; Jus- 
tice Catron, in Miss. & M. RR. Co. v. Ward (1863), 2 Black. 
(67 U. S.) 485, 49s ; Justice Strong, in U. P. RR. Co. v. Hall 
(1876), 1 Otto (91 U. S.) 343, 355 ; Justice Field, in Sherlock 
v. Ailing (1876), 3 Otto (93 U. S.) 99, 102, and in the Brooklyn 
Bridge Case of Miller v. The Mayor (1883), 109 U. S. 385, 396. 

John B. Uhle. 

[The unexpected length of this article compels its division and the in- 
sertion of the latter part in the November number of this magazine. — 
Ed.] 



Supreme Court of Iowa. 
COLLINS v. HILLS et al. 

The original package is not broken and the law is not varied by selling 
liquors in the bottles in which they have been shipped from another State, 
although the bottles came packed in boxes and barrels, and were taken 
out and sold singly after their arrival. 

Delivery of property to the consignee, subjects its ownership and sale 
in the original package, to the laws of the State where it is delivered. 

The License Cases, supra, followed. 

Appeal from the Superior Court of Keokuk County. 

D. F. Miller, Sr., J. H. Anderson, H. Scott, Howell & Son, 
and W. B. Collins, for the plaintiff. 

Anderson & Davis and J. F. Smith, for the defendants. 

Reed, C. J., February 7, 1 889. This was an action in equity 
to enjoin the defendant from maintaining a nuisance. It is al- 
leged in the petition, that the defendant kept, in a designated 
building in the City of Keokuk, a place in which he carried 
on the business of selling intoxicating liquors, in violation o 
the laws of this State. On the hearing, the Superior Court 
found that at the time, and in the place mentioned in the pe- 
tition, the defendant kept certain intoxicating liquors, consist- 



484 COLLINS V. HILLS et Cll. 

ing of whiskey and beer, and that he was then engaged in the 
business of selling the same ; that he purchased the said 
liquors in the States of Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, and im- 
ported the same into this State. 

The beer, when purchased, was put up in bottles, which 
were packed in cases, a certain number of bottles in each case, 
The only sale of beer made by the defendant, was by the case; 
this is, the cases were not opened by him, but were delivered 
to the purchasers in the same condition in which he received 
them from the carrier. 

The whiskey was also put up in bottles. One brand, pur- 
chased in Ohio, was put up in quart bottles, in each of which 
was blown the name of the manufacturer, and each, when 
filled, was securely sealed with a metallic cap, and placed in a 
pasteboard box, and then the bottles were packed in boxes or 
barrels, for shipment. Another brand, purchased in Illinois, 
was put up in pint bottles, each of which, when filled, was se- 
curely closed and sealed, and these were also packed in boxes 
or barrels, for shipment, and were received by the defendant 
in that condition. His sales of whiskey were by the single 
bottle. On receiving the barrels and boxes in which the bot- 
tles were packed, he opened the same, and placed the bottles on 
the shelves in his store, and sold the same to his customers in 
such numbers as they required. He did not, in any instance, 
open the bottles, or sell the liquors in quantities less than that 
contained in them. 

When he made the purchases, he intended to sell the liq- 
uors in this State in the manner pursued by him subsequently 
in making the sales. He was not a registered pharmacist, nor 
did he have a permit from the Board of Supervisors, to sell in- 
toxicating liquors for the purposes for which such liquors are 
permitted to be sold by the statutes of the State. But the pur- 
chasers bought the liquors, intending to use the same as a 
beverage, and that intention was known to him when he made 
the sale. 

The Superior Court held, in effect, that the transaction of 
selling the beer in the manner in which it was done, was be- 
yond the power of the State to control or prohibit, but was 
purely a matter of conveyance between the States, which 



COLLINS V. HILLS et Cll. 485 

could be regulated only by the Congress of the United States ; 
also, that when the boxes and barrels in which the bottles of 
whiskey were shipped to and received by the defendant, were 
opened, and they were removed therefrom, the transaction, as 
a matter of interstate commerce, was fully consummated, and 
that subsequent dealings with the liquors were governed by 
the statutes of this State. And the judgment entered, was in 
accordance with those views. The findings of fact set out in 
the judgment, appear to be sustained by the evidence. And, 
in our consideration of the case, it will not be necessary to 
give much attention to the testimony. Both parties appealed, 
the plaintiff's appeal being first perfected. 

The distinction drawn by the Superior Court between the 
different transactions, does not appear to us to rest upon any 
sound legal principle. The liquor was, in each case, put up 
by the manufacturer, or dealer, in another State, with a view 
to sales in that condition. The subsequent packing of the 
bottles in boxes and barrels, was a mere matter of convenience 
in the sale and shipment of the property. When the defen- 
dant purchased one hundred bottles, either of beer or whiskey, 
he, in effect, purchased that number of packages of the article, 
and when he sold by the bottle, the transaction was of the 
same character. The fact that, as a matter of convenience in 
handling during the transportation of the property, the bottles 
were packed in boxes and barrels, can make no difference as 
to the character, in law, of the transaction. If he had the 
right to bring the liquor within the State, and to sell it here, 
he had the right to adopt such means and mode of shipment 
as best suited his convenience or interest ; for, so far as we are 
advised, there is no regulation upon the subject of either State 
or National enactment. The right to buy and sell in such 
quantities as he chose, is necessarily included in the right to 
buy and sell in any quantity. The right to bring it within the 
State by the car-load is as certain as the right to bring it in by 
the single bottle or other package. If his interest or conven- 
ience would be better served by shipping into the State in cars 
fitted up with tanks, or other vessels attached to the cars, and 
from which the liquors must be drawn at the end of the voy- 
age, he had the right, in the absence of statutory regulation, 



486 collins v. hills et al. 

to adopt that mode of transportation. But in that case, the 
liquors, on their arrival within the State, would of necessity be 
placed in other vessels than those in which they were brought 
within the State ; and the result of the distinction would be 
that, while he had the right to bring them within the State for 
the purpose of selling them here, yet, having brought them 
here in the exercise of that right, he had no right to sell them 
because he had adopted a mode of transportation which, 
although perfectly lawful, required their removal from the ves- 
sels in which they were transported. The unsoundness of the 
attempted distinction is shown by the absurd results to which 
it would lead. If he had the right to sell the liquors in the 
State because the transaction of their purchase and transporta- 
tion was one of National, rather than State, jurisdiction, it fol- 
lows necessarily that he had the right to make the sales in 
whatever form or quantity he saw fit. Any other holding, it 
seems to us, would lead to results and conclusions which 
owing to their absurdity, would be shocking alike to legal 
judgment and the common sense of mankind. 

In our opinion, then, the case turns solely on the question 
whether defendant had the right, notwithstanding the statute 
of the State, to sell the liquors within the State. And in con- 
sidering that question, it is important to keep in mind the 
scope and object of the statutes. For more than thirty years, 
the State has sought by legislative enactments, to mitigate the 
evils of intemperance. During all that time, however, it has 
regarded intoxicating liquors as a legitimate article of com- 
merce, and the legislation has been restrictive, rather than 
prohibitory. The sale and use of such liquors as a beverage 
has been regarded as an evil so enormous as to demand the 
exercise of the highest powers of the State for its suppression. 
At the same time, it has been recognized that the article had 
its legitimate uses. The object aimed at by the legislation 
has been the suppression of the traffic in the article for the use 
wherein it has been a continuous and crying evil, and to reg- 
ulate and protect it for such uses as are beneficial, or at least 
not hurtful. The statute forbids the sale of such liquors for 
use as a beverage, and prescribes severe penalties for viola- 
tions of its provisions ; but it allows sales of the article for use 



COLLINS V. HILLS et (ll. 487 

as a medicine, and in the arts, and for culinary and sacramen- 
tal purposes, and prescribes certain limitations and restrictions 
upon the traffic for those uses. 

In their scope and object, these statutes are not materially 
different from those which have been enacted for the restric- 
tion of the sale of poisons, and the regulation of the storage, 
handling, and use of explosives, and other articles dangerous 
to the lives or property of the people, or deleterious to society; 
and they were enacted in the exercise of the same power, viz., 
the police power of the State. That the State has the power 
to enact such legislation is not now a question of doubt, and 
that the legislature is the sole judge of the necessity for their 
enactment is equally clear. Laws having the same general 
objects in view have probably been enacted in every State in 
the Union, and their validity has seldom been questioned. The 
validity of these particular statutes has frequently been de- 
clared by this Court, and it has been adjudged by the highest 
tribunal in the nation that statutes having the same specific 
object are not in conflict with any provision of the Federal 
Constitution : Mugler v. Kansas (1887), 123 U. S. 623. 

The statutes called in question in the License Cases (1847), 
5 How. (46 U. S.) 504, were not essentially different in their 
object from those of this State. They were enacted for the 
purpose of mitigating, and to some extent suppressing, the 
evils of intemperance. The statute of Massachusetts prohib- 
ited the traffic in intoxicating liquors by all persons except 
those holding a license from the county commissioners, and 
licensed vendors were forbidden to sell in quantities less than 
twenty-eight gallons in any single sale. Under its provisions, 
no person was entitled, as matter of right, to receive a license 
but the question whether any licenses should be granted 
in the county was left entirely to the discretion of the commis- 
sioners. A person who did not hold a license, engaged in the 
business of selling foreign liquors, imported into the United 
States under the statutes thereof He was indicted and con- 
victed in the State courts of a violation of the statute of the 
State. The other cases were under similar statutes of the 
States of New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and involved 
similar states of fact. The causes being removed to the 



488 collins v. hills et al. 

Supreme Court, the judgments were affirmed. Subsequently 
the same claim of right was urged in these cases that 
is here alleged by the defendant, viz. : that as the liquors were 
transported into the States under the authority of the Federal 
Constitution and statutes, it was not competent for the States 
to prohibit their sale, or regulate the manner in which it should 
be conducted. But the Court held that the statutes were not 
in their operation in conflict with the commercial provisions 
of the federal Constitution. And it appears to us that this is 
necessarily so. 

When the power of the State to legislate with reference to 
the subject matter is conceded, it follows, necessarily, we 
think, that all property within the State is subject to the regu- 
lations it has enacted. When property purchased in another 
State is transported to this State, and here delivered to the 
purchaser, to be used or consumed within the State, the trans- 
action, in so far as it is governed by the provisions for the 
regulation of commerce among the States, is at an end. The 
sale and delivery are then consummated, and the property be- 
comes at once subject to the laws which the State has enacted 
governing its use or disposition. It is true that some things 
are said by the Court in Bowman v. Railway Co. (1888), 125 U. 
S. 465, which appear to be in conflict with that view; but we 
do not understand that the question was involved or decided 
in that case. The sole question involved was as to the validity 
of certain provisions of the statute which forbade common 
carriers from transporting to any point within the State intox- 
icating liquors, unless they had been furnished with the writ- 
ten evidence of the right of the consignee to sell the same in 
the State. It is conceded that that subject is beyond the 
power of the State to legislate upon. But it by no means follows 
that the owner has the right, after the property has been 
delivered to him in the State, to use or dispose of it in a man- 
ner different from that prescribed by this State for the sale or 
use of such property generally. 

It follows from these considerations that on defendant's 
appeal the judgment should be affirmed, while on plaintiffs 
appeal it will be reversed. 



GRUSENDORF V. HOWAT. 489 

This case is printed here because articles of commerce or to be dan- 
Leisy v. Hardin was decided upon gerous to the welfare of its citizens, 
its authority : infra, page 490. It The precise point in respect to 
is also interesting as showing how the boxed bottles of whiskey was 
much more accurate in his under- not involved in the case which did 
standing of the law, was the Judge reach the Supreme Court of the 
of the Superior Court (Hon. Henry United States, and in that sense, 
Bank, Jr.) than the Supreme Court remains undecided. But the de- 
of the State, owing to the influence cision of the Superior Court is so 
of the unreversed, though actually advantageous to the powers of the 
valueless License Cases of 1847. local authorities, and so completely 
The test of an unbroken, original accords with the principles of 
package, prevents one State from Brown v. Maryland, that it would 
boycotting the products of other be a serious task to ask its re- 
States, by declaring them not to be versal. 



Supreme Court of Iozva. 
GRUSENDORF v. HOWAT. 

The sale of an original package is subject to the laws of the State, as the 
Congressional powers over interstate commerce terminate upon the de- 
livery of the package within the State. 

Certiorari to the District Court of Clinton County. 

W. C. Grohe and P. B. Wolfe, for the plaintiff. 

Hon. A. J. Baker, Attorney General, for the defendant. 

Reed, C. J., February 7, 1 889. The plaintiff was, in a pro- 
ceeding, enjoined from carrying on the business of selling in- 
toxicating liquors in a certain designated building in the City 
of Clinton. Afterwards a complaint was filed in the Court, 
charging him with a violation of the injunction. He was cited 
to appear before the Court and show cause why he should not 
be punished for contempt. On the trial, it was shown that he 
had, after the injunction, sold intoxicating liquors in the build- 
ing named. In defense, he showed that the liquors sold by 
him were purchased in the State of Illinois, and were trans- 
ported to him in this State by a common carrier, and that he 
sold the same in the packages in which they were when he 
purchased them, and in which they were transported to this 
State. The Court adjudged him to be in contempt, and en- 
tered judgment against him, imposing a fine and imprison- 
ment. He thereupon sued out a writ of certiorari from this